Thursday, 13 November 2014

Painting areas for the kids

I used to love art until I attended art lessons...haha...the irony :)
I just didn't enjoy being told what and how to draw 'correctly'.
So, no art lessons for my children until they are ready to learn some techniques.
And only if they are invested in the idea wholeheartedly.
Honestly, I would prefer to pay for golf lessons.

I am so, so grateful to have the Internet at my fingertips because it helps me understand my children so much more. Who needs a diploma when I have eyes to observe my own children?
I love this article that explains the stages of painting.
Dragon girl is at stage 2, drawing circles and Tiger is at Stage 4, drawing creepy people.

Currently, this is how her atelier looks like. I am so inspired by Meri Cherry's blog
Our space changes all the time, depending on her needs and interest.
I leave everything out in the open for her except glitter. God forbid they should blind each other with those stuff.
We display her art on a string and as you can see, she uses different materials and papers.
On the IKEA easel is her current work. I'll only change the paper after she tells me it's done.
Otherwise, she will layer her painting like real artists :)

Sometimes, she prefers these foldable tables to the easel.
I am so trilled that she finger paints!
You know, like a normal child, unlike Tiger :)
Finger painting is a sensory experience on top of artistic expression.
Love it!

Besides paint, she loves these disgusting black whiteboard markers...sigh.
The good news is, she rarely stains her clothes nowadays.
So, I just close one eye la.

After about a year of  "Don't paint the walls!!!!"
I actually get some poster moments like these.
Oh, speaking of walls...Dragon hasn't been redecorating for some time now :) 

They also have another art area outside.
It's their outdoor learning area but they mostly paint, play bubbles
or make a mess at the water table.

The toy kitchen doubles as storage for my bags of organic soil and fertilizer.
 The old wine rack is perfect for displaying their stuff.
Some balls, art material, sand, explorer's basket, etc
In the drawers: Uppermost 2 drawers are laundry stuff and rags
Lower levels are their bubbles sand/water play stuff  
You see the little green pots?
They are environmental-friendly biodegradable plastic pots.
I have quite a few because ermm, I kept killing the herb plants for some reason. 
Upcycled into art containers! 

 I loved the old wine rack because the back doubles as a blackboard!
So glad I didn't toss it out.  I am such a thrifty mom.
My husband is a very lucky chap...sigh..
The most important part? Painting to promote peace and teamwork!
Most of the time, they fight like cat and dog because the girl is so ferocious.
See Tiger's unhappy disgruntled face? Hehe.
Learning to share is good.

 Tips for sanity:
1. Start with a small number of items on display. Some crayons, papers, stickers.
Then you can gradually introduce paint, clay or playdough.
We are at expert level with sand, scissors, loose parts and wires for their use.
When I add glitter, you will know I've totally lost my sanity :)

2. Buy washable paint
I buy Crayola because it really is very washable.
We no longer wear smocks because the kids dislike having their movements restricted.
The paint is still cheaper than their bajus.
When they are older, I am buying tempera and ugly aprons.

3. Soak the used art stuff in a large container overnight
 I dump all the palettes and brushes into a water filled container and wash the next day.
Minimal scrubbing and water saving.

4. Stock up during sales
Occasionally, I can get 30%-70% off Crayolas during Toyrus Warehuse sales
Otherwise I'll just have to hold my breath and buy them from Art Friend for 10% disc.

5. Minimizing wastage
"Mama, I need help please. I poured too much paint. Sorry"
That will be my son, Tiger.

That will be my daughter. =.="
In cases like the above, I will scoop whatever I can back into the bottle or tube.
If there are some leftover on the palette, I will wait for the kids to fall asleep, 
make myself a cuppa green tea, sit at the easel and paint.

When was the last time you painted?

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